We hope that you have been enjoying the outdoors with the nice weather we’ve been having, whether it be on hikes, playing sports, or catching rays at the beach! The summer is a great time to be active, but as with all activity, it makes you prone to injuries to your feet and ankles.
The following are some common sports injuries that you may want to be aware of as your activity levels are higher:
Ankle Sprains – This is a common occurrence, not only among athletes, butacross the board. Some activities may put you more at risk for ankle sprains, such as trail running (because of the uneven surfaces), football or soccer (which includes sudden lateral movements), and wearing high heels (which causes instability). The best way to protect against this injury is to do exercises that make your ankles stronger and more flexible. Also, you should use the right shoes for the activity and limit the use of high heels.
Turf Toe – This injury occurs when the ligaments around the big toe joint become sprained. The big toe joint become hyperextended and pressure or impact is applied onto the joint while the heel is lifted. Athletes, especially football players, are at high risk for turf toe due to the surfaces they play on, as well as when they use soft-soled shoes. Wearing hard-soled shoes may help reduce incidence of this injury.
Achilles Tendinitis – This is usually an overuse injury from repeated movement. The inflammation occurs where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone. An acute injury can also cause the problem. For some athletes, like runners, constant use of the Achilles tendon can cause pain due to wear and tear. Not resting when experiencing pain can make the problem worse. Prevention requires proper warmups and stretching.
Plantar Fasciitis – Also an overuse inflammatory injury, proper rest and supportive shoes can help prevent and reduce pain. Without proper rest, the tissues along the bottom of the feet can become inflamed and painful. If they become too tense, it can pull on the bottom of the heel, causing heel pain too. Athletes should ease into new activity and warm up properly before explosive workouts. If necessary, orthotic inserts can help reduce symptoms.
Fractures – Whether it be a small hairline fracture or a fully cracked or broken bone, fractures can result from too much pressure, repeated impact on bones, or blunt trauma. Stress fractures are common among athletes because of the repetitive motions they have to perform and the direct impact they may experience when they collide with another athlete or equipment. Prevent this by strengthening bones through weight bearing exercises and getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Additionally, use protective gear to reduce risk of injury.
If you have persistent pain or sustained a sports injury, make an appointment at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. We can assess your injuries and find the right treatment. One of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Douglas H. Richie, Dr. Jeremy L. Cook, Dr. Faye E. Izadi can treat your injuries at either of our Seal Beach, CA or Los Alamitos, CA offices in Orange County.